3 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

Want to be happier? Online managing editor Anne Simpkinson offers tips for making happiness a bigger part of your life.

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Happiness may sometimes seem elusive but there are things you can do to make it a part of your life. Here are three ways you could increase your happiness quotient:

1. Attend church services.
A recent study showed that over the 25-year period since blue laws were repealed and commercial activity was allowed on Sundays, happiness declined in women, who did not regularly attend weekly church services. Although only Christian women were studied (Christians worship on Sundays while other faiths have their services on Fridays or Saturdays), researchers suggest that everyone might benefit from taking a “day of rest” from shopping and commercialism.

2. Express gratitude every day.
Martin Seligman, PhD, and his colleagues at University of Pennsylvania worked online with self-selected depressed individuals. After only 15 days of writing down three things that went well during the day, a whopping 94 percent reportedly felt better. These same researchers found that regularly writing in a gratitude journal also had a positive impact on people’s sense of well-being.

3. Start your day with anticipation rather than apprehension.
Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, author of the classic The Power of Positive Thinking once recommended beginning “each day, each week, each year and every task with anticipation that all will turn out well.” According to Peale, starting out with enthusiasm and positivity leads to health, vitality and, of course, happiness. Singer and song writer Bobby McFerrin put it this way: “Don’t worry, be happy.”

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